The great Australian bowling club. We all love ‘em, but so many have been languishing dangerously close to financial strife. Thankfully, new life is being breathed into a bunch - with good food, better beer and a renewed focus on live music and community.
We visited Shane Ironside at The Bowlo in Bangalow to see how they're paving the way. Literally. When we visited Shane was actually paving the outside area, you can see the paving dust on his t-shirt. You can't stop progress!
Tell us about your background and how you first got involved with the Bowlo?
I am from Adelaide and have been in pubs most of my life, with a stint in London, eight years Sydney and one year Gold Coast with now two years The Bowlo...My partner Claire and I moved from Sydney to the Byron Hinterland three years ago for a more idyllic lifestyle which we are now enjoying, the bowlo popped up and I thought this was a cool way to be part of the local community and earn some bucks at the same time.
The club’s had a bit of a reinvention over the last few years, can you tell us a bit about that?
The Club closed its doors six years ago and was heading that same path again, I went to market to find the most suitable crew to get some wholesome family style food at prices of yesteryear and bring the family back to the dinner table. The Stockpot Kitchen emerged and we have been doing huge numbers since they started with smoker style offerings from Graeme AKA Big Red the Chef. We like to think we are not the standard Bowlo and we are helping change the mould, hipsters and families in and old school mentality out. Sporting club sponsorship and assisting the local community any way we can is what we try to do.
Graeme's smoking at The Stockpot Kitchen
You’re in a pretty lovely part of the world there. What are your favourite local spots?
Yep a great space, we live in hills 15 minutes from Byron. Brunswick for breaky and live tunes at the pub, Harvest Newrybar when we want to splash out and there is plenty of great riding roads/dirt for the Harley and dirt bike. One of the best places is our deck at home...drinking, eating with view and no driving!!
Bowls at the Bowls Club
The area’s been through a tough time recently with the floods. Were you guys directly affected?
We weren't flooded, but the chef lost a close friend in the Burringbar flood, they donated all profits and tips for one week totalling $7700. Plus we did two raffles with the help of YH beer and raised another $3500, it affected many indirectly.
What’s the first gig you ever went to?
ACDC Bridgeway Hotel Adelaide.
What’s the last gig you ever went to?
Big gig Coldplay Sydney, local was Wild Marmalade didgeridoo band and was awesome.
Any legendary gigs at the bowlo go in your personal hall of fame?
Working on it, although it was home to Cold Chisel and INXS in the late ‘70s.
And if last drinks get called on Planet Earth, what are you drinking?
YH lager and Sailor Jerry’s, lime & dry.
Beats Cartel and Young Henrys SuperBowlo coming up 4th August. Watch facebook for details.